1st Edition

Global Capitalism, Culture, and Ethics

ISBN 9780415843966
Published April 25, 2014 by Routledge
300 Pages

USD $78.95

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Book Description

Selected as an Outstanding Academic Title by Choice Magazine in 2014!

This book aims to deepen the student’s understanding of the complex ethical challenges that businesses face in an increasingly globalized world. As the world moves towards greater interdependence, it has been demonstrated that globalization is linked to economic growth. This raises a critical question: as a key player in fostering economic growth, how does the multinational corporation function as a moral agent?

Global Capitalism, Culture, and Ethics offers a sophisticated analysis of theoretical ethical issues such as universalism versus pluralism; the connection between law and morality; the validity of a corporate social agenda; and the general parameters of moral responsibilities for multinational corporations. With these foundational issues addressed, the book proceeds to analyze a number of specific controversies such as the proper scope of political activism, disinvestment, environmental sustainability, and responsible sourcing from low wage countries. The analysis of globalization is not confined to a treatment of the moral obligations of multinational corporations, but also reviews the history of global capitalism, the interdependence between governments and multinational corporations, and the beneficial and harmful effects of globalization on social welfare.

Weaving together themes from economics, history, philosophy, and law, this book allows the reader to appreciate globalization from multiple perspectives. Its theoretical cogency and uncompromising clarity make it a rewarding read for students interested in issues of ethics and globalization.

Table of Contents

Preface  Part I: Theoretical Perspectives  1. A Brief History of Global Capitalism  2. Free Markets and Government Regulation  3. Cultural Diversity and Cultural Relativism  4. Law, Ethics, and Corporate Social Responsibility  Part II: Doing Business in a Global Environment: Industry Analyses and Case Studies  5. Multinational Corporations and Internet Freedoms: Cisco, Yahoo, and Google in China  6. Patents, Patients, and Medicine: Big Pharma and Developing Countries  7. Corporate Environmental Responsibility and the Petroleum Industry  8. Political Activism and Disinvestment  9. Responsible Sourcing and Offshoring  Part III: Conclusions  10. Epilogue

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Richard A. Spinello is Associate Research Professor at Boston College, USA, where he teaches courses on ethics, social issues in management, and corporate strategy. He has written nine books on ethics, and has published in journals such as Business Ethics Quarterly and Ethics and Information Technology.


"Weaving together themes from economics, history, philosophy, and law, this book successfully presents the topic of globalization from multiple perspectives. Summing Up: Highly recommended. Upper-division undergraduates and above." - L.J. Cumbo, Emory and Henry College, in CHOICE, October 2014